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Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics
From the Overview
The global economic and food crises have called into question the possibility of achieving the Millennium Development Goals of halving poverty and hunger by 2015. Before the crises, the number of poor people, defined in the MDGs as those living on less than $1.25 a day, had fallen: from 1.8 billion in 1990 to 1.4 billion in 20051 (see figure O.1). Progress across regions was, however, varied with East Asia experiencing the sharpest fall – thanks to China’s rapid growth – and sub-Saharan Africa the least. Even if globally the poverty rate is reduced by half by 2015, as the latest United Nations progress report on the MDGs suggests, about one billion people will still be mired in extreme poverty by 2015. Furthermore, according to estimates of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the number of malnourished individuals rose above the one billion mark in 2009 for the first time.
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